How to Avoid Extra Fees From a Moving Company

By: Harrison Gough Last Updated: Oct 19, 2023

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Cut extra moving charges off your bill. Check out these tips to protect you from hidden moving costs and save on your moving service while keeping your relocation expenses to a minimum.

How to Avoid Extra Fees From a Moving Company

The excitement of unfolding a new chapter in your life and moving away from your previous neighborhood is overwhelming. Handling step-by-step move requirements is tedious, especially when moving on a tight budget.

Even after getting numerous quotes from moving companies, you still have to get to the details of every charge to see if it’s worth it. A common challenge people encounter during a move is potential unforeseen extra charges that pop up on the final invoice, inflating their moving expenses.

Financial stress from unexpected charges is the last thing you need during your move. We hear you; that’s why we have analyzed cost-saving moving strategies to avoid hidden charges. With our budget-friendly tips, navigate the realm of moving companies, ensuring extra fees do not blindside you.

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What Are Some Common Hidden Moving Fees?

In the rush of handling the move, hidden fees might catch you off guard. As you aim to reduce moving expenses while getting the most out of your low budget, you need to understand some standard extra charges that might be incurred. That way, you can deal with your enemy strategically.

Here are some typical-hidden costs involved in moving:

  • Packing Materials: Some movers charge for the packing materials. They utilize supplies like sturdy boxes, tape, and packing paper. Ensure you get a detailed estimate if these costs are included.
  • Stair or Elevator Fees: It’s not a rare fee during moving. Most companies will charge you this fee due to the extra energy required to navigate through elevators or stairs.
  • Long Carry Fees: It’s an extra fee charged for added time and effort depending on the distance between your home and the moving truck.
  • Overweight Items: Hefty possessions like pianos, large furniture, and beds are difficult to handle. Fees vary based on the number of such belongings you own.
  • Storage Fees: It’s a fee that arises in the case of temporary storage during the move. It could be due to delays in your move-in date.
  • Cancellation Fees: Eleventh-hour cancellations result in penalties. Before you embark on hiring a moving company, it’s essential you read and understand their cancellation policies.
  • Fuel Surcharges: Some companies can impose extra charges based on the distance on the move. Familiarize yourself with their way of doing things.
  • Insurance Costs: Beyond the basic liability, some moving companies add a third-party insurance cover to your bill. Review your options carefully.
  • Excess Weight Fees: Make sure you get the right estimate. You’ll pay more for excess weight than the original weight in the binding estimate.
  • Accessories Services: During packing and packaging, if some of your furniture items require disassembling, reassembling, disconnecting, and reconnecting, be prepared for additional charges.

You can always avoid these unwelcome surprises. Request a transparent quote from long-distance moving companies during your research. Carefully review the terms and determine any potential hidden fees before making a robust decision to hire them. Such transparency can help you plan meticulously and budget effectively.

Request a Detailed Estimate/Quote

Professional cross-country movers provide different quotes depending on your needs and requirements. Understanding each type of quote will ultimately aid you in making an informed decision and unveil extra fees before you start planning your move.

There are three common types of quotes:

1. Binding Estimate

It provides a fixed and legally binding cost based on the inventory weight within a period, usually 30 days. Unless you request additional service or adjust the item weight, the price is guaranteed not to change.

2. Non-Binding Estimate

The approximate cost is not legally binding. However, the final price may vary depending on the services requested or the actual volume of your possessions.

This option may not be ideal for clients. Due to the fact that the moving company is not held accountable for the final cost of the move, it may result in a higher moving estimate than the initial estimate.

3. Binding-Not-to-Exceed Estimate

It’s the ideal estimate for anyone looking to move. It caps the total amount you’ll pay on the actual inventory weight. The estimate creates room for flexibility and saves money; you may pay less if your cargo is lighter than initially indicated.

Double-check your inventory so you can provide an accurate moving checklist which will aid in requesting a quote. It’ll minimize additional cost surprises on the transit day.

Pack Items Yourself

Packing is a fundamental aspect that should be carried out carefully and cautiously. It’s among the extra fees charged during moving, and doing it yourself can save you some cash. DIY packing should be handled properly to ensure everything is done effectively.

Here is how you can save some money with DIY packing:

  • Save labor costs: Professional movers offer high labor fees, which you can eliminate with the help of friends and family members.
  • Use your own packing essentials: You can utilize your own instead of purchasing packaging materials from moving companies. If your budget doesn’t allow you to purchase packing material, utilize scarves, blankets, heavy clothing, or any other material that can cushion your high-value items.
  • Personalized care: In DIY packing, you have control over your fragile or sentimental items. Each piece is handled and packed according to your instructions. It minimizes accidents, breakage, or injuries.
  • Time Flexibility: Pack at your own pace. No fixed schedules or rush. Hence, it allows room for preparation and offers you a stress-free experience.

Negotiate For Discounts

Cut some extra fees by putting your negotiating skills to work. Obtain numerous quotes and compare different companies. Ask questions such as, ‘’How is your moving company different from its competitors? ’’

During negotiations, inquire about discounts and new customer promotion deals. You could land free loading and unloading of your items. If you land a better deal from another mover, ask your preferred mover if they can match the cost. In most cases, they’ll be willing to adjust their offer.

Ask For Services You Need

Ask for the services that align with your needs from your hired mover. Such a comprehensive approach steers you clear from overpayments of extra fees. Identify the status of your move by conducting a thorough assessment. Evaluate factors like packing, disconnection and connections, reassembling and disassembling of furniture, distance, location of storage, etc.

Don’t let movers trick you into paying for services you didn’t request. Communicate with the moving company clearly and openly about your needs. Request quotes that reflect your needs. Be proactive and specific; it will streamline your moving budget and ensure a more cost-effective relocation.

Avoid Peak Moving Days

Trying to save money? Opt in for a winter move. Peak seasons (during spring and summer) are categorized with high-demand, hence avoiding hidden costs can be tricky.

Demand is lower during fall and winter (colder months), hence lower rates and fees from moving companies. Enjoy the off-season flexibility as you choose transit dates and land an amazing deal that saves you time and money.

However, there is a catch in a fall or winter move. You’ll have to prepare early and plan meticulously due to weather challenges. On the other hand, it’s a financially savvy choice, as you can save big and still enjoy the most out of off-season estimates.

Ensure Your Estimate is Accurate

Accurate estimates are key to understanding the full budget and help pre-plan effectively. You can factor out the DIY services and inform the moving company early. Basically, to get a clear and accurate estimate, you will need to gather numerous quotes from reputable and recommended movers.

Avoid under-quoting by enlisting complete inventory during the estimation process. Attain a preliminary budget by utilizing a moving cost calculator.

Immediately after you have your quotes, examine, review, and check again to ensure nothing was left out. Pay close attention to details like free services, additional costs, and extra fees. Be sure to read the fine print to understand your mover’s terms and conditions showcased in the estimate.

Adopting these tips will aid you in planning effectively and prevent the unpleasant surprise of hidden fees.

Services Included at No Additional Cost

Certain services are offered as a sign of commitment on the part of the moving company to help you with your move.

Reputable moving companies should provide the following services at no additional cost:

  • Free in-home inspection
  • Floor coverings
  • Debris removal
  • Basic transit insurance

Ultimately, Good Preparation Safeguards From Hidden Costs and Saves You A Coin

Thorough preparation safeguards you from the surprises of hidden moving costs, which inflate your expenses. Discuss additional fees upfront, obtain accurate estimates, discuss the terms with your mover, and carefully plan and prepare your move.

Reputable companies will always be transparent on any added charge, so choose wisely. Invest highly in the initial research and never cease to ask questions about any arising charge on your invoice. The money you’ll save and the stress you’ll avoid will be well worth it.